“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.” ~ Michelle Obama, Former First Lady

Summary: Before her most public role as the First Lady of the United States for 8 years, Michelle Obama had a flourishing career. A lawyer by profession, she was a defender of racial and community issues. Michelle has always been driven by passion and took up opportunities that were close to her heart. Michelle Obama is a woman of her own class. She is the only First Lady of the U.S to hold two Ivy League degrees. She is also the first African-American first lady of the United States. As the FLOTUS, Michelle undertook much needed initiatives such as Let Girls Learn targeting women empowerment, Let’s Move to tackle childhood obesity and bring about healthier food choices in the country. Becoming the first African-American First Lady of The United States caused a lot of controversy and racial discrimination to resurface, forcing her to give powerful and moving speeches on the issue on several occasions. Ignoring the naysayers and critics, Michelle Obama has risen as a leader and role model for young girls and women of color. She is unapologetic about setting the bar higher than any other First Lady of the United States by addressing and tearing down all stereotypes while implementing initiatives to better our communities and provide opportunities for higher education.

Nationality: African-American

Industry: Politics & Activism

Q: Can you comment on your recent urge for tech companies in Silicon Valley to “make room” for more women in their ranks as the industry struggles to overcome its diversity problems? on thehill.com

A: We have to want to make it happen. And that’s where I look to the fellas in the room and say, “Are you ready? Are you really ready to have women at the table? Then make room.” I urge entrepreneurs not to underestimate the influence they can have over their communities and families.